Vela Panel: A Case Study

Allows Care Managers to manage caseload at scale according to program objectives or personal preference

Vela Panel

The Problem Space

Typically, a Care Manager and Coach's first activity is to review and triage patient activity for incidents and critical events. Care teams, consisting of healthcare professionals centered around the patient, also rely on several data points to paint the whole picture of the patient's health.

For example, Vela Pro conveys activity using indicators for new chat messages and alerts for questionnaire submissions. These functions inhabit their own space in the app, allowing the Pro to focus on the task.

However, a decentralized structure made it hard for Pros to get a snapshot of care team activity and doesn't allow them to triage care according to need.

View-all permissions. Branch Managers have read-only permissions to view the Care Teams of the Professionals they manage. We also needed to consider the functionality that this permission would gate.

Additional use cases. We designed Vela Pro for durably assigned caseloads. Still, we must consider other care models that fit the needs of our customers.

My Role

Senior Product Designer


  • 1 Product Manager
  • 6 Engineers
  • Subject Matter Experts


2 quarters

Process Overview

  • Product Thinking
  • Sketching
  • Primary Research
  • Secondary Research
  • Visual Design
  • Prototypes for Product Validation
  • SME Feedback Sessions


  • Branch Managers
  • Professionals: Care Manager, RN Care Manager, Care Coach, Care Coordinator

Outcome Statements

Professionals can manage their caseloads efficiently at scale from a single view.
Professionals can view their panel based on personal preferences, workflows, or program goals.
Branch Managers need to view a Professional's panel for caseload balancing, assessing coverage needs, and reviewing care team activity.

Technical Constraints

Performance Requirements. Data might come from Vela Pro, a system of record, or other services. We need to ensure the Panel will be performant. Working closely with Engineering around this topic was essential.

Data Failures. We want to ensure that if one service fails, it doesn't kill the entire Panel service. If a failure does occur, how can we allow the Pro to recover from that?

No Machine Learning or AI. Vela doesn't use ML or AI, nor did we have folks with those skills. Also, using these technologies for several, often experimental, use cases might be too costly.

Development Statements

List View. Pros need a new list view with columns for activity and other care room information.

Filtering. Pros need to filter their care team to see activity and other data.

Sorting. Pros need to prioritize sorting to get to what matters most to them. For example, I want to sort by my primary care teams, then secondary.

Data. As more data becomes available in the Panel, Pros must hide those irrelevant data, not germane to my workflow or program objectives.

Efficient Navigation. Pros need to efficiently go in and out of care rooms, which the current experience could do better. Red routes and modality will allow Pro to complete tasks with speed and efficiency.

Getting Starting with Requirements

Secondary Research

I needed access to users, but I didn't have it. However, user feedback from the Product and Technical Support teams informed the problem statement and user needs.

Next, I conducted secondary research to evaluate best practices for filtering, sorting, data density, and complex tables while considering our users' skill levels.

Data Modeling

I met with the Product Manager and Engineering leads to determine the types of data we should expect, how it should be organized, and in which format.

Design Principles

Performance. If the panel is performant, it will retain its utility.

Efficiency. Easy access to data, red routes, and modality significantly decreases interaction costs, allowing the Professional to spend less time in the application and more time with care teams.

Extensibility. Filtering and sorting must be extensible enough to allow different data types we have yet to think of to support furure use cases.

Straightforward Filtering & Sorting. Considering our users' technical proficiency, users need to be able to quickly determine how the panel is filtered and sorted with a low cognitive load.

Just Enough Information. Prior knowledge and my data density research helped validate our assumptions about data overload.

Information Hierarchy. For those pertinent data, Pros want to move panel columns to show the most critical information first.

Sketches & Feedback

I often start with sketches, and this case was no different. I have quick progress meetings with the PM or an Engineer for technical guidance and feedback. We also hold formal design reviews with the whole team. Unfortunately, I no longer have those sketches for this project. 😥

Nurturing Ideas in Figma

With the design system I built, I can work out many ideas quickly with high fidelity.

Empty sketch book
Vela Patient Panel, First Iteration

Iteration One

The first iteration of the panel utilized existing components to give the panel a consistent experience—for example, the use of cards as rows and applied filters.

I played around with quick filters with a single click instead of a dropdown menu with higher interaction costs.

Vela Panel: Filter and Sort
Vela Patient Pnael: filtering long lists

Filters & Long Lists

Filters with short lists are displayed in dropdown menus in Vela Pro. Given many filters have long lists, I experimented with the right drawer.

Iteration Two

Sometimes, I build out the experience when working on a project, considering the long-term vision. It helps with story mapping and planning.

During the second iteration, I began considering the requirements and design principles the team and I agreed on. The utility menu here accounts for views, filter and sort, and other menu items.

Vela Panel: Filter and Sort

Rule Builder Filters

My desk research informed me that sentence-style wording, instead of parametric-style, makes it easier for Professionals to comprehend, even if longer.

Vela Patient Panel: rule builder filter

Advanced Sorting

In the previous implementation, we allowed the Professional to choose a primary sort and then make some assumptions about the secondary sort. In the future, the Pro will determine the order of her care teams.

Vela Patient Panel: advanced sorting


Data overload would eventually be a genuine concern. Also, some data would be necessary for some Professionals rather than others. They need a way to hide and order panel columns.

Vela Patient Panel: fields

Panel Views & Menu

Having complex filtering and sorting and the ability to configure fields a Professional cares about is a game-changer. Still, it can be taxing to configure them regularly, even if the application has a memory. Being able to save the settings into a view will be crucial. Of course, the professional needs to be able to rename, duplicate, or delete views.

Vela Patient Panel: panel views

Expanded Columns

Performance is always a consideration, so I worked closely with my Engineering colleagues. Using the principle of progressive disclosure, we can show just enough data about the care team. With another call, the Professional can access care team data without leaving the panel.

Vela Patient Panel: expanded columns

Feature Prioritization through Story Mapping

I worked with Product and Engineering to determine the MVP features. We decided to work on the rule builder and update the interface first. Everything else would come at a later release.

Vela Patient Panel: story mapping

Feedback through Design Reviews

The Product Manager and I met our Clinical and Client Services teams regularly to ensure we met professionals' and clients' needs.

Final Product

I often build out the experience taking into account the long-term vision. During the second iteration, I began to consider the requirements and design principles the team and I agreed on. The utility menu here accounts for views, filter and sort, and other menu items.

Vela Panel: Filter and Sort

Results & Monitoring

Overall, the feedback has been good. Since the original re-design, we have been able to add more filters, and the system has proved extensible enough to allow for new filters to be added without problems.

Before adding the primary filter, Professionals found it hard to determine the care teams' accurate caseload. The new filter made them more efficient and more focus time on their cases.

Vela Panel: Rules

Feature Updates & Improvements

Since the updated panel filters release, we have worked closely with the Clinical and client Services teams to identify updates and improvements.

  • We have consulted with the teams to learn what Branch Managers and Care Coaches need.
  • We have tested usability with Care Coaches to identify pain points and test our assumptions.
  • We continue to integrate SMEs throughout the product development process to improve outcomes.

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